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  • I've believed all my life that loud, thumping music at an intersection was anything but a public good.

    I was wrong. Today, a car pulled up alongside the bus I was riding, and everything began to vibrate rhythmically: ba-BMM, ba-BAH-bmm, ba ba...

    The sound was sharper and the vocals clearer than most, perhaps because the car had a better system, but perhaps because the huge bulk of the bus absorbed all the dissonant frequencies.

    In any case, the bus driver was rockin' out. He glanced down at the car the moment it pulled up, and he started bobbing his head. A moment later, the fare tower became a drum. We sat at that light for minutes, and he didn't skip a single beat. Did the patrons of his packed bus enjoy the racket he was making? I'm sure he had no idea. The music was good. That was all.

    As we pulled away, the driver looked down at the car again with a grin and honked three times. The sharply-dressed businesswoman by my side turned to me and said, with a smile and a laugh, "That was pure entertainment."

    Yes, it was.
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